Facials, peels, massages: These are the standard beauty treatments we all know and love. But beauty editors test much more than those classic, tried-and-true services. (Our craziest might have been when we had our blood drawn, then the was plasma separated from the blood and mixed into a $1,400 facial cream called Dr. Sturm MC1 Blood Moisturizer. It regenerates skin on the cellular level, and, as crazy as it sounds, it does work.) But making the decision to try an unconventional treatment is tough, especially if you don't know what results to expect. That's why we rounded up five of our favorites that provide the kinds of major beauty benefits any bride-to-be would want. After all, if you're going to shell out for a unique treatment experience, it's probably going to be before your wedding day.
Red wine bath.
The antioxidant, anti-aging benefits of red wine are no secret, and Ancient Aire Baths, an ancient Greek and Roman-inspired candlelit bathhouse in New York City and Chicago, has created a whole beauty treatment around it. It doesn't include drinking red wine, but soaking in red tempranillo grapes from Spain. "You're in a private room, sitting in an antique tub from a Venetian well that has been converted into a bath," says Silvia Barnett, head of marketing and public relations for Ancient Aire Baths, US. "Along with the antioxidant benefits, it also helps tone and purify the skin." You'll also get a full body massage with hydrating grapeseed oil from the same Spanish winery, not to mention an indulgent mental relaxation—we leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, every time.
Services start at $450.
If you've ever wished you had higher cheekbones, you'll probably love microcurrent as much as we do. We tried it at Toska European Spa in Charlotte, North Carolina, where owner Toska Husted combined it with a bespoke facial. The device feels tingly on your skin, thanks to the tiny electrical currents that stimulate cells to reduce puffiness, improve muscle tone, sculpt, and lift your face. Our initial skepticism disappeared when we took a photo with Toska afterward and immediately noticed a more photogenic face, thanks to razor-sharp (or it seemed that way) cheekbones that were where they'd never been before.
From $350 at Toska European Spa.
LED light therapy body treatment.
You may have heard of light therapy for your face, but esthetician Joanna Vargas' New York City and California offices have an enclosed bed that you lay in to target both your face and body. "It's covered in red and infrared light to eliminate cellulite, wrinkles, and stretch marks," Vargas says. "It promotes collagen production, which means your skin will get thicker. It reduces inflammation and shrinks pores like nothing else I've ever seen." In fact, studies have shown that LED light heals the skin at a 300 percent faster rate, she says.
Sessions, called the "Power Nap," are 20 minutes and cost $150.
While this method of hair removal isn't as common as waxing or shaving, it's probably the oldest out there. (It dates back to the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece.) It's completely natural and perfect for those with sensitive skin. "The paste used consists of just sugar, water, and lemon juice, which is molded to the skin against the direction of hair growth, then removed from the follicle with a flicking motion of the wrist," says Gunna Covert, esthetician at Daphne Spa in New York City. You can go about a month between treatments, and each time, hair grows back thinner and sparser. A bonus? Sugar is naturally antibacterial.
At Daphne, prices start at $17 for the chin and go up to $249 for the full body.
"Your scalp needs cleansing, balancing, and protection," says Justina Mejia-Montane, Vice President of Global Development at Aveda. Consider your scalp the soil from which your hair grows." On that note, a treatment like Aveda's Pramasana Awakening Scalp Ritual can give your at-home hair regimen a boost. It begins with a stylist brushing your hair with a looped-bristle brush that massages the scalp, stimulates circulation, and exfoliates. (The looped bristles prevent strands from tangling.) Next comes the cleanser, which balances sebum production and removes buildup from environmental pollution. Then the mask is applied, which contains lactobacillus, a probiotic that reinforces the scalp's barrier, and tamanu oil, an antioxidant that protects from damaging free radicals. The treatment ends with a leave-in concentrate and a blow dry, so book your treatment before a night out to make the most of it.
Cost varies depending upon salon.